JSC Moon Base
In 1984, with the Space Shuttle in service, a team based at the Johnson Space Center made a feasibility study for NASA's return to the Moon. It anticipated later studies in using NASA's planned infrastructure – the Shuttle, a Shuttle-derived heavy lift vehicle, a space station, and an orbital transfer vehicle – to build a permanent 18-crew moon base sometime between 2005 and 2015.
The Space Shuttle was to have transported the empty 21,000-kilogram lunar lander and payload to the space station, where they would rendezvous with the 100 ton propellant module.
The first objective was the creation of small semipermanently manned "camp" on the lunar surface in 2005-2006.
NASA was to have launched a lunar orbiting space station in 2008-2009 to support the creation of a permanently manned moonbase by 2009-2010.
This operational surface base would have contained an expanded mining facility, lunar materials processing pilot plants and a lunar agriculture research laboratory; pilot oxygen production and experimental mining facilities would have been landed previously.
The lunar surface facility would have grown to an 18-crew "advanced base" in 2013-14, consisting of five habitation modules, a geochemical laboratory, chemical/biological lab, geochemical/petrology lab, a particle accelerator, a radio telescope, lunar oxygen, ceramics and metallurgy plants, two shops, three power units (90% lunar-materials derived), one earthmover/crane and three trailers/mobility units. The ultimate goal would be a self-sustaining moonbase by 2017-18.
Associated vehicles and steps
The following were the names of vehicles or mission steps associated with the JSC Moon Base:
- Mapper and L-2 Relay Satellite. Development: 1992-1996. First launch: 1996.
- Surface Explorer Rover. Development: 1995-1999. First launch: 1999.
- Expendable Lander. Development: 1995-1999. First launch: 1999.
- Network and Regolith Science. Development: 2002-2004.
- Manned Capsule / OTV. Development: 1999-2003. First launch: 2003.
- Expendable Ascent Stage. Development: 1999-2003. First launch: 2003.
- Lunar Orbital Facilities. Development: 2004-2008. First launch: 2008-2009.
- Camp, temporary manned. Development: 2000-2004. First launch: 2005-2006.
- Base, permanent manned. Development: 2004-2009. First launch: 2009-2010.
- Advanced Base. Development: 2008-2013. First launch: 2013-2014.
- Self-Sustaining Base. Development: 2012-2016. First launch: 2017-2018.